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Buddhism Buddhism was developed from the teachings of the ,Buddha, Gautama (or Gotama) who lived as early as the 6th century BC. Spreading from India to Central and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan, Buddhism has played a central role in the spiritual, cultural, and social life of the Eastern world and during the 20th century has spread to the West. Buddhist worship consists mainly in reciting prayers and sacred texts and chanting hymns to …

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…a tendency toward repeated evil actions. This furnishes the basic context for the moral life of the individual. The aim of religious practice is to get rid of the misunderstanding of personality, therefore freeing oneself from the shackles of this ordinary world. One who is successful in doing so is said to have overcome the round of rebirths and to have achieved enlightenment. This is the final goal—not a paradise or a heavenly world.